To build a cabin, part 7
Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
147Trip End Ongoing
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Our last day in the woods. We had hoped that by the time we vacated the woods to have completed the frame. We were delayed by waiting for a long drill bit from UK and our short trip back. However, the weather was extremely gentle and we were working in good conditions with only a little rain and it wasn't too cold. So we weren't frozen out of the woods until we left for Christmas. So how far have we got?
On the last day, Laura and I had a go at the inbetween rafters or the little rafters. I don't know the real word for these. As the roof is a cone, the main rafters start from one point and spread out. By the time they cross the wall, they are over a metre apart and further still at the edge of the eaves. This is too wide a gap. A carpenter/joiner we know commented that in a modern building, the rafters are never more than 60cm apart. It seemed a good idea to put in some inbetween rafters. These would be shorter than the main rafters as they would start lower down the frame but then extend to the edge of the eaves.
We secured the top of the roof, where the main rafters met in a circle, with the remnant of the strong fencing wire (that we lassooed the walls with). This was to prevent any rafter somehow slipping out whilst we were messing around with the frame. Theoretically it shouldn't need it but we thought it to be a sensible precaution.
How far down to start the inbetween rafters? We worked out where would look pretty and fit for purpose (dividing the span between the rafters to a suitable gap remembering that we were planning to weave the roof). We measured from the wall up the rafters to get the same distance, and then checked it by measuring down from the circle in the centre, marking with string. This showed how the hole in the centre of the roof is neither central nor circular and the start point for the little rafters looked messy! In the end we did it by eye.
First off we marked and trimmed an inbetween rafter so it would sit flush against the side of the main rafter. Balancing precariously on the slippy wooden frame, I tied it on with string at the top. Laura had to hold the rafter to stop it slipping off or rolling. I drilled/augered through the rafter and into the wall plate (not all the way through obviously). Then we dropped a peg in to the hole and moved on to the next one. Sounds so simple when I write it like that. However, it took all day to do six rafters, especially as the inbetweener would slip round the main rafter and I'd have to climb back up the main rafter to reposition it. Plus, working as fast as I could, I fell almost off the frame, landing on my shins on the wall plates astride a rafter. Not the best conditions to be working in!
We managed to get half the inbetween rafters on. Another day's work is required to put the last 6 on, plus a spacer over the doorframe. Unfortunately, we're not there to complete it. Once the frame is ready, the lop from the coppicing will be used to weave the walls and roof.
Thank you, Julie and Peter, for giving us the chance to have a go, for providing lots of ideas and solutions when we got in a pickle, and for helping out with the heavy bit - lifting the rafters in to position and then drilling all them holes!